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New artist displays at SCPLS King Family Library

The Sevier County Public Library System (SCPLS) is hosting the artworks of Ronnie McWilliams, a Floydada, Texas native, during October at the King Family Library in Sevierville. The library system encourages local artists to showcase their artworks each month in the gallery space on the third floor.

McWilliams’ father was a construction worker whose job caused the family to move multiple times around the southern United States. During his childhood, McWilliams and his family lived in New Mexico, Louisiana, Florida, and California before returning to Texas, where McWilliams resided for the next 34 years. As a student, McWilliams attended five elementary schools, one junior high school, three different high schools, a trade school and two junior colleges. Fourteen years ago, McWilliams and his wife, Phyllis, moved to Seymour, Tennessee. Their two adult sons are also currently living in Tennessee.

McWilliams career has been as varied as his school attendance history. He has been a carpenter, construction superintendent, artist, author, inventor and theologian. McWilliams’ talent as an artist was first recognized in the second grade where he earned an honorable mention in the San Bernardino County Fair. Later, as a high school sophomore, he placed in 2nd place in the Los Angeles County Fair. Later, in the Tyler, Texas Smith County Fair, he received 1st and 2nd in the nonprofessional division.

As an adult, McWilliams joined an Artist Co-Op in Tyler, Texas where he displayed his artwork for six months. During this six month stint, McWilliams was acknowledged as having the highest gross earnings for a single painting for any artist in the gallery’s history. Following this success, the family moved to Tennessee. In addition to this creative outlet, McWilliams has written, illustrated, and published the first in a series of multigenerational books titled, The Leaf People: Philip and the Wolf.

McWilliams is also a talented inventor and assisted in the development of the Beta Battery for Texas A&M University. He later received a small business grant through European Dynamics in Dallas, Texas to build the first crude prototype (for proof of theory) of a device he invented called the Spectral Battery. The spectral battery was designed for use in deep space travel. The patent request was denied due to a 1964 law banning perpetually operating devices. Unable to secure a patent to protect his invention and with grant money exhausted, he returned to construction work. Since then, McWilliams has retired to focus on his first passion, art.

Please take the time to explore the art gallery in the Creative Space on the 3rd floor at the King Family Library at 408 High Street in Sevierville to support local art and artists in our communities. For more information about upcoming exhibits or about reserving the art exhibit space for your own artworks, call 865-453-3532.

Published October 8, 2018

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